Tag Archives: gunners

Robin van Persie signs for BT Sport

Van Persie joins BT Sport's dream team! United striker to appear alongside Bale in ambitious broadcaster's ad campaign

By
Brian Lee

PUBLISHED:

10:54 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:19 GMT, 26 April 2013

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BT SPORT LOGO

BT Sport's list of big-name signings expanded again today as they added Manchester United striker Robin van Persie to their star-studded line-up.

The broadcaster, who will air 38 Premier League games next season, confirmed the news on Twitter that Van Persie will appear alongside Gareth Bale in ad campaigns for their coverage.

Van Persie leads the Premier League scoring charts this season with 24 goals to his name, one more than Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, and the Dutchman's hat-trick against Aston Villa on Monday night sealed United's 20th top-flight title.

BT have also snapped up Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Scroll down for video

Smashing signing: Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will appear on BT Sport's ad campaigns

Smashing signing: Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will appear on BT Sport's ad campaigns

Dream team: Van Persie joins Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on BT's list of stars

Dream team: Van Persie joins Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on BT's list of stars

Great news! BT Sport confirmed Van Persie's signing on Twitter

Great news! BT Sport confirmed Van Persie's signing on Twitter

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who signed for the Gunners from Southampton in 2011
and has 10 England caps, will also become a BT Ambassador for the next
three years.

The 19-year-old winger said: 'I am very pleased to be named as a BT
Ambassador and to feature in the adverts and as a guest for BT Sport.

'As a young player, I hope I can bring some real insight into the Premier League, as part of the BT Sport team.'

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: 'We are thrilled that Alex has
agreed to sign up for BT Sport. Alex is emerging as an international
star, having broken into the senior team aged just 18.

'His hard work and dedication to improvement has already taken him to
great heights and serves as an inspiration to young football fans that
if you are good enough, you are old enough.'

Regular guest: Arsenal youngster Oxlade-Chamberlain will be appearing on BT Sport next season

Regular guest: Arsenal youngster Oxlade-Chamberlain will be appearing on BT Sport next season

VIDEO: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joins BT Sport

As well as the rights to show 38 live games a season from the Barclays
Premier League, including 18 of the top picks, BT Sport has also secured
the rights to live top-tier matches from Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 in
France, Brasileiro in Brazil and Major League Soccer in the USA.

And BT’s acquisition of ESPN’s TV channels business in the UK and
Ireland will bring the rights to show live games for the FA Cup,
Scottish Premier League, Europa League and the German Bundesliga.

BT Sport will also show up to 69 live rugby union games a season from the Aviva Premiership.

In
addition, BT has signed a deal with the Women’s Tennis Association
(WTA) to show up to 800 hours of live tennis, including the TEB BNP
Paribas WTA Championships.

I'm in: Spurs winger Bale has already signed for BT Sport ahead of their Premier League coverage

I'm in: Spurs winger Bale has already signed for BT Sport ahead of their Premier League coverage

And... action: Bale films an advert for BT Sport

And… action: Bale films an advert for BT Sport

Arsenal"s Theo Walcott says he was abused by fans

Abuse from Arsenal fans wasn't fair but now I know how to deal with it, says Walcott

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

10:03 GMT, 20 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:04 GMT, 20 April 2013

Winger Theo Walcott has revealed that he has received plenty of abuse during his time at Arsenal, but that he has learnt to avoid it all as he continues to mature.

The 24-year-old's future was in doubt at the beginning of the season, but he signed a new 100,000-a-week deal in January to end speculation he might leave the Emirates.

His form has varied over the past few season between being at the fore of the Gunners' attack and going missing in games.

Why bother Theo Walcott says that he avoids message boards and Twitter criticism

Why bother Theo Walcott says that he avoids message boards and Twitter criticism

Bruised: Walcott got a battering on the pitch against Everton as he felt the force of their midfield

Bruised: Walcott got a battering on the pitch against Everton as he felt the force of their midfield

Walcott says he didn't feel like the criticism he got was justified: 'Last year against Tottenham in the first half, I got a lot of abuse from the fans, which wasn't fair,' he said to The Times.

'I'm sure they would be nice to my face. People always are nice when they meet you. They would come up to me and say, ''We hope you stay, but respect your decision.''

His desire to play a more central role in Arsenal's front three is no secret, and Arsene Wenger has used him to spearhead the attack on several occasions, most notably when they beat Newcastle 7-3 and Walcott scored a hat-trick.

Taking the full force: Walcott has had his fair share of knocks against Spurs

Taking the full force: Walcott has had his fair share of knocks against Spurs

He has learnt to take the good with the bad, however, and says he now knows to keep his distance from some fans' opinions.

'It's only on message boards or Twitter and stuff – or when it's in a crowd – that it turns nasty, and that's why I avoid all that stuff.'

Along with Jack Wilshere, Walcott has been injured for the past month, and is raring to get back into the thick of the action.

He started their 0-0 draw with Everton and will hope to feature again as Arsenal travel across london to play Fulham.

Incensed: Arsene Wenger was angry with what he felt was over-physical play from Everton

Incensed: Arsene Wenger was angry with what he felt was over-physical play from Everton

But it's not always been so easy for Walcott to muster the confidence that he deserves to be on the pitch.

After being thrown into the spotlight in 2006 when Sven-Goran Eriksson picked him for England's World Cup squad, he found it hard to live up to early expectations.

'At times, with myself maybe, I haven't believed how good I am. People around me, my agent, my dad, say that to me sometimes. I think that might be the case.'

Just as with Gareth Bale, another former Southampton youngster, it took Walcott several years to justify his big money move.

But now a regular in the side, and with Wenger saying he will spend in the summer, both his and the club's future may be going in the right direction.

Recovering: Along with Jack Wilshere, Walcott is just getting back to full fitness after several weeks out

Recovering: Along with Jack Wilshere, Walcott is just getting back to full fitness after several weeks out

Kevin Miralles squirts Jack Wilshere with water at half-time of Arsenal v Everton

You squirt! Mirallas sprays Wilshere with water at half-time of Arsenal v Everton

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

20:16 GMT, 16 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:35 GMT, 16 April 2013

Arsenal and Everton were involved in a furious half-time tunnel brawl after Kevin Mirallas nonsensically squirted water in Jack Wilshere's face.

Both sets of players piled in after the Everton forward sprayed liquid from his water bottle straight at the Gunners talisman.

It is understood the tunnel fracas saw a livid Wilshere throw a punch at Mirallas before players from both teams were separated before making their way back to their respective dressing rooms.

1) Get the drink

1) Get the drink

2) Open the drink

2) Open the drink

3) Squirt the drink

3) Squirt the drink

Gunning for you: Jack Wilshere was understandably furious with Kevin Mirallas as they left the pitch

Gunning for you: Jack Wilshere was understandably furious with Kevin Mirallas as they left the pitch

Handbags: The spat spilled over into the tunnel with a handful of other players weighing in on both sides

Handbags: The spat spilled over into the tunnel with a handful of other players weighing in on both sides

Tunnel of shove: Wilshere and Mirallas are separated as they head into the heart of the Emirates

Tunnel of shove: Wilshere and Mirallas are separated as they head into the heart of the Emirates

Tensions were already running high after a high octane opening 45 minutes of the Champions League qualification crunch clash.

The Gunners felt David Moyes' side
should have been down to 10 men after Toffees midfielder Darron Gibson
escaped a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Theo Walcott.

And the animosity spilled into the tunnel area as Mirallas took the cocky step of splashing the England midfielder in the face.

The angry exchange was not the first time Arsenal have been involved in a heated tunnel altercation.

In October 2004, after Manchester
United ended Arsenal's 49 game unbeaten streak in the league at Old
Trafford, the Gunners did not react too kindly.

Angered at the manner of United's 2-0
victory, Arsene Wenger allegedly called Ruud Van Nistelrooy a cheat as
he passed him in the tunnel, provoking the fury of Sir Alex Ferguson.

As the United boss remonstrated with
Wenger, somebody from within the Arsenal dressing room threw a pizza
slice at the United boss.

And then in February 2005, infuriated
by Patrick Vieira's attempts to bully Gary Neville prior to the return
game at Highbury, Roy Keane reacted furiously, jabbing his finger at the
Frenchman before telling his midfield rival: 'I'll see you out there'.

Gareth Bale says Tottenham team spirit will help Premier League and Europa League campaigns

Spurs' spirit will see us bid for glory on two fronts until the end of the season, says Bale

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

19:53 GMT, 1 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:10 GMT, 1 April 2013

Gareth Bale has said Tottenham can keep fighting on two fronts until the end of the season, claiming Champions League football for next season and challenging for the Europa League.

Spurs sit in third in the Premier League, five points ahead of north London rivals Arsenal in fifth, but have played a game more than the Gunners.

They also host Basel in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday, but talisman Bale believes the togetherness in the squad will see them through.

Ready to go: Gareth Bale said Tottenham can use their team spirit to compete on two fronts

Ready to go: Gareth Bale said Tottenham can use their team spirit to compete on two fronts

Bale

'We are a very close group as a team. At some places there's little groups here and little groups there but we have got a great team spirit and we want to take that into the rest of the season,' Bale told Eurosport.

'The main thing for us is that we don’t get carried away. We're comfortably able to finish fourth in the league and competing for third – we've got to take it game by game.

'We can push on in the Europa League as well against Basle. Our away form has been very good – we showed that against Lyon. We want to do as well as we can in both competitions.'

Bale's stunning strike against Swansea in Spurs' 2-1 win at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday was his 22nd for Spurs in all competitions this season, prompting some to brand him as one of the best in the world.

Flying high: Bale scored his 22nd goal of the season for Spurs against Swansea on Saturday

Flying high: Bale scored his 22nd goal of the season for Spurs against Swansea on Saturday

But for the man himself, two giants of the Spanish League are still the ones to beat.

'Ronaldo and Messi have set the standard as the best players in the world, and everyone wants to play like them' said Bale.

'Year by year I'm improving and I can still improve.'

Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott out of Arsenal"s Premier League clash with Reading

Crocked Wilshere STILL missing for Arsenal and Walcott is out, too… but Wenger confident Gunners will finish in top four

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

09:56 GMT, 28 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:17 GMT, 28 March 2013

Jack Wilshere has been ruled out of Arsenal's Barclays Premier League clash with Reading on Saturday.

The Arsenal midfielder hasn't played for the North London outfit since he injured his ankle in their defeat at Tottenham earlier this month.

Theo Walcott, who picked up a pelvic muscle tear on international duty, will also miss the visit of the relegation-threatened club this weekend.

Sidelined: Jack Wilshere will not be fit to face Reading at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday

Sidelined: Jack Wilshere will not be fit to face Reading at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday

Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott

Blow: Theo Walcott left the England camp early after picking up a groin strain before the San Marino clash

'Wilshere is still out,' said Wenger. 'Walcott is an accident that could have happened.'

The Arsenal boss also insisted he had no issue with England manager Roy Hodgson.

'When it’s competitive for England, like it was in the last two games, the manager has to pick his best team,' added Wenger.

'There's no ideal way when your
international manger is under pressure to deliver. There can be
complications between the two medical departments – because you can send
a player who is half-injured and they still play, so it is about
communication. But we have a good relationship with England.'

Arsenal host Reading on Saturday four
points adrift of rivals Tottenham having played one game less, and
despite the injury concerns at Arsenal, manager Arsene Wenger remains
confident the Gunners will qualify for the Champions League.

'There are nine games to go, five at
home and four away, and with the form we showed at Bayern Munich and
Swansea, I think we have a very good chance of finishing in the top
four.

'We have a special desire to be together at this club. This is a good opportunity for us and we want to grab this chance.'

Reading will arrive at the Emirates
seven points adrift of safety and under a new regime after former
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins was appointed earlier this week.

'We may play a team who are fighting
not to go down, but we fight to get in the top four so those games are
just as important for us, too,' added Wenger.

More follows…

Arsenal deny Jack Wilshere will miss a further six weeks through injury

Arsenal play down Wilshere injury fears and confirm England star will be fit for Champions League run-in

By
Frank Foster

PUBLISHED:

16:41 GMT, 18 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:28 GMT, 18 March 2013

Arsenal have confirmed Jack Wilshere is expected to return from an ankle in injury for their clash with Reading at the end of the month.

The England midfielder has not played since Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Tottenham and has already been ruled out of his country's crucial World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

It was claimed by some outlets that Wilshere could be missing for a further six weeks and that manager Arsene Wenger had ruled out the possibility of using him again this season.

Road to recovery: Arsenal expect Jack Wilshere to be fit to face Reading on March 30

Road to recovery: Arsenal expect Jack Wilshere to be fit to face Reading on March 30

Precaution: Arsene Wenger has claimed that Wilshere's latest injury does not require surgery

Precaution: Arsene Wenger has claimed that Wilshere's latest injury does not require surgery

The club was quick to deny any such setback for the 21-year-old as he continues his rehabilitation in London.

'Nothing has changed in Jack's recovery, there’s no setback or further damage to his ankle and no concern about any long-term problems,' said an Arsenal spokesperson.

'Jack was told to rest and we are still on course for him to resume training and be available for selection for the home game against Reading.'

Blow: Wilshere has emerged as one of England's most consistent performers but will miss the qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro

Blow: Wilshere has emerged as one of England's most consistent performers but will miss the qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro

Arsenal's run-in:
Reading (H) – March 30West Brom (A) – April 6 Norwich (H) – April 13Everton (H) – April 16Fulham (A) -April 20Man United (H) – April 28QPR (A) – May 4Wigan (H) – May 12Newcastle (A) – May 19

The news will come as a relief for Gunners fans who are well acquainted with the fitness issues that have plagued Wilshere for the past two years.

What should have been a routine operation on his right ankle in 2011 forced him to miss 17 months of action after suffering various setbacks on his road to recovery.

Arsenal's win at Swansea on Saturday has thrown Wenger's side back into the mix of teams challenging for fourth place and entry into the Champions League next season.

The Gunners currently lie four points behind North London rivals Spurs with a game in hand.

If Wilshere progresses as Arsenal expect then he will be available for the run-in as Arsenal look to salvage their season following another campaign without a trophy.

Gareth Bale has banana thrown at him – police to investigate

Police hunt for supporter who threw banana at Bale during Tottenham's win over Arsenal

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

12:07 GMT, 4 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:03 GMT, 4 March 2013

Police have launched an investigation after a banana was thrown at Gareth Bale during the north London derby.

Officers are working with Tottenham staff and reviewing CCTV to establish the identity of the supporter who launched the fruit at Bale from the Arsenal section as the forward attempted to take a corner in the 27th minute.

Assistant referee Darren Cann picked up the banana and removed it from the pitch but no further action appeared to be taken at the time.

Incident: The assistant referee holds the banana thrown at Gareth Bale as he went to take the corner

Incident: The assistant referee holds the banana thrown at Gareth Bale as he went to take the corner

Bale and the banana incident

Bale and the banana incident

Targeted: Ex-Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor (right) was also a target for abuse from Gunners fans

Targeted: Ex-Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor (right) was also a target for abuse from Gunners fans

The Metropolitan Police will prosecute the person responsible if located, given it is an offence to throw an object on to a football pitch.

Usually such action carries racist overtones, as when Mario Balotelli was taunted with inflatable bananas during the recent Milan derby, but in this case the yob supporter seemed to be mocking Bale’s appearance.

Those with Arsenal allegiances flocked to Twitter to give misguided congratulations to the culprit.

User ‏@jackAFCmartin posted: ‘The best moment of the match. When an Arsenal fan threw the banana skin at Gareth Bale #Chimp’

Happy days: Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor as Tottenham beat Arsenal at White Hart Lane

Happy days: Bale and Emmanuel Adebayor as Tottenham beat Arsenal at White Hart Lane

Danny O’Reagan wrote: ‘Whoever threw that banana at Gareth Bale is a legend.’

But Robin Bylund provided a reasoned voice when he replied sarcastically: ‘Arsenal “fans” throwing a banana towards Gareth Bale. How classy…’

The FA say they are awaiting a report from their crowd control adviser, who is likely to have noted down the incident, and will make every effort to identify the person responsible.

The act somewhat marred a thrilling game, which Spurs won 2-1, with striker Emmanuel Adebayor also taunted over the horrific shootings in Angola while on international duty with Togo in 2010.

Tottenham and Arsenal warned about vile chants

North London rivals in vile chants threat: Yobs will be ejected from White Hart Lane

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

22:55 GMT, 28 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:00 GMT, 1 March 2013

Tottenham and Arsenal will issue a warning to supporters intent on using sick chants during this weekend’s north London derby.

Spurs will use Sunday’s programme and their official website to warn fans they will take a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to those found singing abusive songs, and fans who are caught doing so will be thrown out of the ground.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been the target of disgusting abuse from Tottenham fans in recent matches.

Targets: Spurs' ex-Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger

Targets: Spurs' ex-Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger

Targets: Spurs' ex-Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger

Slated: Sol Campbell was the victim of abuse by Spurs fans after his switch to Arsenal

Slated: Sol Campbell was the victim of abuse by Spurs fans after his switch to Arsenal

Slated: Sol Campbell was the victim of abuse by Spurs fans after his switch to Arsenal

Likewise, former Gunners striker Emmanuel Adebayor has also been at the centre of vile chants from Arsenal fans since his acrimonious exit for Manchester City in 2009 and the club will also post a warning on their website.

Tottenham, meanwhile, are considering inviting Gareth Bale to the negotiating table to discuss improved terms as they seek to persuade him to stay for at least another season.

Bale has signed contract extensions in each of the last two summers and Spurs may try to persuade him to do so again. Bale is waiting to see if Tottenham qualify for the Champions League before making a decision.

Third time lucky Spurs are hoping that Bale will extend his contract once again

Third time lucky Spurs are hoping that Bale will extend his contract once again

Real Madrid will accelerate their efforts to lure Bale if Cristiano Ronaldo fails to sign a new contract. Real will only formalise their interest if Ronaldo indicates he won’t extend a deal that is due to expire in 2015.

Meanwhile, a UEFA security officer has been appointed for Spurs’ Europa League clash against Inter Milan at the San Siro on March 14.

Nine Tottenham fans were injured in attacks ahead of their clash in Lazio in November. And a group of Spurs fans were attacked last week ahead of their match in Lyon.

Crime scene: Spurs fans were attacked at the Smoking Dog pub in Lyon

Crime scene: Spurs fans were attacked at the Smoking Dog pub in Lyon

Arsene Wenger press conference full transcript – Arsenal v Bayern Munich

'Do you think I'm a complete idiot': The FULL transcript of Wenger's angry press conference (plus his bizarre exchange with Sportsmail's Neil Ashton)

PUBLISHED:

10:22 GMT, 19 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:51 GMT, 19 February 2013

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger lost his cool at Monday’s press conference ahead of the match with Bayern Munich when he was questioned over his future.

The Gunners manager finds himself in the spotlight again after they were dumped out of the FA Cup by Championship side Blackburn Rovers.

Wenger was in a fiery mood at the club’s training ground – and started with an exchange with Sportsmail’s Neil Ashton.

Scroll down to watch Neil Ashton's verdict on Arsene Wenger

Glare: Arsene Wenger was in a fiery mood as he faced the media ahead of Arsenal's clash with Bayern Munich

Glare: Arsene Wenger was in a fiery mood as he faced the media ahead of Arsenal's clash with Bayern Munich

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

The first question put to the Arsenal boss is about claims of new two-year deal – reported by another newspaper – to remain at the Emirates.

Arsene Wenger: That is the wrong information. I think I work for 16 years in England and I think I deserve a bit more credit than wrong information, that has only one intention, which is to harm.

AW: (to Neil Ashton) I look at you not because you give the information. I do not know if it is you. I do not know where the information comes from.

Neil Ashton: Me

AW: Yeah, why do you look at me

NA: Because it’s your press conference.

AW: OK, thank you. I just thought you had given this information out.

NA: No, I’m looking at you because it’s your press conference.

AW: OK, thank you very much.

Question from another journalist: The fans were very upset at going out of the Cup at the weekend.

AW: Look, here is a pre-match conference for the Champions League. If you want to talk about Saturday, that press conference has been made after the game. Can we get some questions about tomorrow’s game That would be very nice.

Plenty to ponder: Wenger cuts a lonely figure during Arsenal's training session on Monday

Plenty to ponder: Wenger cuts a lonely figure during Arsenal's training session on Monday

Q: Mr Wenger, Bayern Munich has not only a good offence but also a good defence. Can you tell me about the quality of the defence from Bayern Munich and especially (cut off)

AW: I don’t talk about Bayern Munich today.

Q: If everybody is saying you have no opportunity to go through, could that help the team in a way to play with freedom

AW: We know well what is going on here. What is important is to forget what people say and focus on our strengths. We play for Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions League, we have qualified for a long, long time. We know what is important. It’s not what people say, it’s what we produce on the football pitch. We live in a democracy of experts and opinions, but we have to live with that and cope with that and show we have the mental strength to deal with any opinion. There are a lot of experts who are not necessarily always right.

Q: If this is your last chance to win a trophy this season…

AW: Thank you very much for that question. It’s a long time that we didn’t answer it.

Q: But can you talk about your desire to bring back trophies to the club

AW: Look, I have been accused of not taking seriously the FA Cup on Saturday. I have won four times the FA Cup. Who has won it more Give me one name.

Over and out: Arsenal were dumped out of the FA Cup by Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates on Saturday

Over and out: Arsenal were dumped out of the FA Cup by Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates on Saturday

Over and out: Arsenal were dumped out of the FA Cup by Blackburn Rovers at the Emirates on Saturday

Q: I haven’t accused you of not taking it seriously, I am just asking you…

AW: OK. Then, the second thing is we have been accused of not putting out a strong team. That is an insult to the players who started the game because we had 11 internationals on the pitch. I would like to tell you as well that we did not lose the game with the players who started. We lost it in the last 20 minutes so there are a lot of superficial analyses that you cannot accept. Because one guy says something, everybody goes the same way.

Q: The question is about your desire to win the Champions League. It is there, isn’t it

AW: No, no. I want to lose it and I want to lose the game tomorrow, so you can all be happy. Of course we want to win it but in Europe, recently, you face as well some other teams who have quality. Barcelona has some qualities, Real Madrid has some qualities and they don’t win it every year. We have been consistently there. And now we want to break through. We have been in the final and consistently in the quarter-final, semi-finals, for years. People will say it is not the best opportunity now to do it, I think it is a fantastic opportunity because I feel I have a strong team. And I am sure they will prove me right.

Wenger breaks to talk to the daily newspapers. Here are the main points.

Q: The story (about a new contract) was a positive one

AW: Why does it just come out when we lose a big game In your opinion You think I am so naive that I don’t see what is behind that You think I am a complete idiot

Shock: Colin Kazim-Richards scored the only goal as Blackburn stunned their Premier League opponents

Shock: Colin Kazim-Richards scored the only goal as Blackburn stunned their Premier League opponents

Shock: Colin Kazim Richards scored the only goal as Blackburn stunned their Premier League opponents

Q: Do you feel that there is unfinished business with the Champions League

AW: Of course, it is unfinished business as long as we don’t win it. But if I say to you we will win it this season, you will laugh at me because we just lost against Blackburn. But it can happen. Unfortunately, in football, it is less predictable than that. It is not mathematical.

Q: Tell us why a team that has lost to Blackburn and Bradford can beat Bayern Munich

AW: Do you think really that Bayern Munich has never lost against a smaller club in Germany Man United, against Division Three, they have lost. It can happen. What I find is absolutely unbelievable is that when it happens to me, it is a complete storm. You know why Because in 16 years, it never happened.

Q: Will it suit Arsenal to be the underdogs

AW: We are underdogs, yes. You just have to read the English press and you understand that.

Q: You have beaten some fantastic teams over the years

AW: In Europe, we have beaten everybody, which is what people forget. And we are the only team that has gone into a (Champions League) final without conceding a goal, despite the fact that we have never had a good defensive record.

Next up: Arsenal take on a formidable Bayern Munich side in London in the Champions League last 16

Next up: Arsenal take on a formidable Bayern Munich side in London in the Champions League last 16

Q: What do you need to improve on from these last few weeks

AW: We are champions of England in the second half, and in the first half, no. For psychological reasons. Because we fight the whole season against everybody hunting here (in press conferences) … ‘The players are not good enough, buy players and all that’, but one day, you will realise that this team has fantastic qualities.

Q: What do you put that first-half, second-half contrast down to

AW: Psychological.

Q: But what exactly

AW: I do not necessarily want to come out on that.

Q: You’ve been very passionate here today. You seem to be suggesting that you don’t get the respect you deserve Any theories about why

AW: I don’t take that personally. I’m more worried about the players. I will go into the Champions League tomorrow night in a difficult situation. On top of that, they have to fight against everybody and I want to protect the players to make sure they go into the game in good conditions.

Q: You seem angry

AW: I’m angry because when you give wrong information like that. There’s not only wrong information behind that. See what I mean

Raring to go: Arsenal are determined to bounce back against Bayern as they seek to progress in Europe

Raring to go: Arsenal are determined to bounce back against Bayern as they seek to progress in Europe

Q: It’s aimed to hurt you

AW: The lie is targeted to hurt. It’s easy to say people are not happy and on top of that say he’s extending the contract. That’s what I mean. I’ve worked here for 16 years and when I say I deserve more credit, that’s not about respect and everybody saying: ‘He’s doing well.’ It is morally. I think that’s right. You can criticise me and say I’m a bad manager. I’d never come back to you on that. But I think when you work like that … you will never find any story behind me that I’ve taken money anywhere, or things like that. So I think morally that is wrong.

Q: But the story is a positive one saying that they want to keep you.

AW: Come on.

Q: Do you not think that some of the criticism is justified You’re 21 points off the top of the table. You’re going to get criticised …

AW: We are, of course, criticised for that. But we are not the only ones. You have some clubs that have invested more money than us for years and they are behind as well. We accept this kind of criticism. But it’s not what I am talking about. It’s about some other things that I talk about that have come out. They are lies. But when you criticise (about being too far behind), on that, then it is true. I can only say I am sorry. You are right, we are far too far away from Manchester United.

Q: Are you under more pressure than ever We don’t normally see you like this

AW: I reacted this way to the lie.

Last chance: The Champions League is Arsenal's final opportunity to end an eight-year trophy drought

Last chance: The Champions League is Arsenal's final opportunity to end an eight-year trophy drought

Q: Is it just to the lie or it is deeper than that

AW: To the intention that is behind the lie. Honestly, do you really think I take all that personally What I don’t accept is lies and when the target behind it is to manipulate people.

Q: Do you think you’ve misread this The story does say that despite everything they want you to stay. So that’s good rather than bad but you seem to see a conspiracy theory.

AW: I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am 30 years in this job and if I was paranoid, you would know it already. I just think that when I worked for 16 years in the country I expect a certain respect. You can criticise me and say I am doing a bad job, I will never come back to you. But this kind of thing that is a bit manipulative. And then when they are wrong, I don’t accept it.

Q: What is your current contractual situation

AW: My contract ends in 2014. I will have completed 30 years without interruption at top-level football and that demands at least a lot of commitment. Maybe no quality but commitment, for sure.

Q: What will happen beyond 2014

AW: I am not completely sure that you are really interested. When we lost at home to Blackburn, I am not sure that is your first worry.

Q: We would miss you!

AW: I am sure you would miss me when I am gone.

VIDEO Neil Ashton on Arsene Wenger's future

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VIDEO Arsene Wenger talks to the press

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VIDEO Wenger at training with the squad a day after his angry outbursts

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VIDEO Bayern's Schweinsteiger and Neuer talk about the Arsenal game

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Arsenal fans call for Arsene Wenger to resign after FA Cup defeat to Blackburn

Worst ever for Wenger: Fans call for Arsenal boss to resign after FA Cup shocker

By
Andrew Warshaw and Joe Bernstein

PUBLISHED:

21:07 GMT, 16 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:07 GMT, 17 February 2013

Despondent Arsene Wenger rued another devastating defeat as the worst season in his 16-and-a-half-year Arsenal reign plumbed new depths amid a torrent of abuse at the Emirates.

With Bayern Munich visiting north London in the Champions League on Tuesday, Wenger made seven changes for yesterday's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Championship side Blackburn but suffered another humiliation as his team were again humbled by lower league opposition.

Colin Kazim-Richards's 72ndminute winner not only extended Arsenal's trophyless drought to eight years but was the first time under Wenger's tenure that the Gunners had lost in the FA Cup to a team outside the Premier League.

Tought to take: Arsene Wenger reacts as Arsenal slumped to defeat against Blackburn

Tought to take: Arsene Wenger reacts as Arsenal slumped to defeat against Blackburn

With Arsenal's board set to review
their manager's position at the end of the season – and Wenger himself
understood to be considering his position – Everton manager David Moyes
last night emerged as a shock contender to take over next season.

Elsewhere, seven arrests were made as
a heavy police presence at Luton's FA Cup clash with Millwall ensured
there was no chance of a repeat of the hooliganism that erupted when the
sides met in 1985.

Three hundred Bedfordshire police
were on duty in the Kenilworth Road area as a 'small minority' of fans
were involved in a tense stand-off after Millwall's 3-0 victory.

Barnsley striker Marlon Harewood was
alleged to have been abused by a fan during his side's 3-1 win over MK
Dons, with the home side's manager, David Flitcroft, intervening.

Decider: Colin Kazim-Richards fires past Wojciech Szczesny to dump the gunners out of the FA Cup

Decider: Colin Kazim-Richards fires past Wojciech Szczesny to dump the gunners out of the FA Cup

At the Emirates, Wenger's postmatch
press conference lasted barely five minutes as he was bombarded with
questions about his side's continuing frailties in a season now in
danger of going into freefall.

'It's very painful and very disappointing,' said Wenger, whose
side were knocked out of the League Cup by League Two Bradford in
December.

Even when he brought on first-choice players Theo Walcott,
Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, they failed to find a way through
Michael Appleton's resolute side and were booed off.

Lifelong Arsenal
fan and Ryder Cup golf hero Ian Poulter tweeted: 'Utter crap Wenger
that's your lot you have to go, take a bow you've done an amazing job
over the years but enough is enough …'

Down and out: A dejected Jack wilshere reacts to Kazim-Richards' goal

Down and out: A dejected Jack wilshere reacts to Kazim-Richards' goal

'We had 11 international players
on the pitch at the start of the game,' said Wenger, whose side had 26
shots – 12 on target – and totally dominated possession.

'But we made a
massive mistake on the goal.'

Asked if the current season was his
worst, Wenger hit back: 'It is not over yet. For you maybe, but not for
me. It's important to focus on our next game. It's a good opportunity to
show we have character.'

Famous victory: Michael Appleton (left) congratulates Jason Lowe after victory at the Emirates

Famous victory: Michael Appleton (left) congratulates Jason Lowe after victory at the Emirates

Wenger's contract runs out in 2014
and he has so far refused to discuss a new one. If he leaves at the end
of the season, he may look to return to France.

Aware of Wenger's perilous position,
Moyes has told Everton he is unlikely to discuss his own future until
the summer when his current deal runs out.

Despite his close relationship with
owner Bill Kenwright, there is irritation inside Everton at Moyes's
tactics, which they regard as a form of blackmail to push for new
signings.

Into the last eight: Blackburn claimed a morale-boosting win, continuing Appleton's fine start as boss

Into the last eight: Blackburn claimed a morale-boosting win, continuing Appleton's fine start as boss